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The Historian

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The Historian Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"The Historian isn't especially scary (though Kostova can work up a respectable miasma of dread when needed), and it lacks the inane but breathless chase scenes of The Da Vinci Code, but for the sophisticated reader it's a fine Bordeaux to Dan Brown's overcaffeinated Diet Coke....The big difference is that, unlike Brown's nattering cardboard people, by the end of Kostova's novel, the girl and the mother she lost as an infant have also become people worth caring about, tragic figures enmeshed with a treacherous past. That makes The Historian a thriller in more ways than one." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages.

The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe — in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

Review:

"Considering the recent rush of door-stopping historical novels, first-timer Kostova is getting a big launch — fortunately, a lot here lives up to the hype. In 1972, a 16-year-old American living in Amsterdam finds a mysterious book in her diplomat father's library. The book is ancient, blank except for a sinister woodcut of a dragon and the word 'Drakulya,' but it's the letters tucked inside, dated 1930 and addressed to 'My dear and unfortunate successor,' that really pique her curiosity. Her widowed father, Paul, reluctantly provides pieces of a chilling story; it seems this ominous little book has a way of forcing itself on its owners, with terrifying results. Paul's former adviser at Oxford, Professor Rossi, became obsessed with researching Dracula and was convinced that he remained alive. When Rossi disappeared, Paul continued his quest with the help of another scholar, Helen, who had her own reasons for seeking the truth. As Paul relates these stories to his daughter, she secretly begins her own research. Kostova builds suspense by revealing the threads of her story as the narrator discovers them: what she's told, what she reads in old letters and, of course, what she discovers directly when the legendary threat of Dracula looms. Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too. Agent, Amy Williams. 325,000 first printing; major ad/promo; 10-city author tour. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment." New York Magazine

Review:

"Impossible to resist....Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil." Miami Herald

Review:

"A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature....This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascination with the legend of Dracula." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine....It won't take you long to get to the end." Houston Chronicle

Review:

"Readers who think the legend of Dracula has become a trite staple of schlock fiction will find this atmospheric page-turner...a bloodthirsty delight....Both literary and scary, this one is guaranteed to keep one reading into the wee hours..." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"There's a really terrific vampire story buried somewhere in The Historian....There is indeed a rich payoff if you persist through the slow parts. But then again, this is a frigging vampire novel. There shouldn't be slow parts. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, Kostova's phenomenal #1 bestseller tells the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark 15th-century reign of Vlad the Impaler. Available in a tall Premium Edition.

Synopsis:

Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe - in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment." ---New York Magazine

"Impossible to resist. . . . Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil." ---Miami Herald

"A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature. . . . This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascaination with the legend of Dracula." ---Chicago Tribune

"Genuinely terrifying." ---Boston Globe

"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine. . . . It won't take you long to get to the end." ---Houston Chronicle

About the Author

Elizabeth Kostova graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 13 comments:

juliewinit, January 21, 2012 (view all comments by juliewinit)
I loved the historical fiction with a twist
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Kathleen McAvoy, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by Kathleen McAvoy)
This book possesses the two qualities that every author strives for - it is utterly convincing, and wildly compelling. Despite its length (more than 600 pages),I could not put this book down, and when I had to engage in other activities (i.e. eating, showering,driving kids to school) I thought about the characters, and imagined where they might go next. The Historian is not simply an epic romance in an atmospheric setting that spans hundreds of years, it is THE definitive re-telling of Dracula, and destined to become an American classic.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
westerndipper, January 29, 2010 (view all comments by westerndipper)
This book, published in 2005, is a work of fiction taking place primarily in Europe. I read the book while traveling in Europe, which only added to my feeling of horror as the story unfolded. The author did a wonderful job of setting the cultural stages of the book's timeline. Anyone caught up in the current popular films and television shows featuring vampires should read 'The Historian'.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 13 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316067942
Author:
Kostova, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Subject:
Fantasy - Dark/Horror
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Men's Adventure
Subject:
Vampires
Subject:
Europe - Eastern
Subject:
Occult fiction
Subject:
Horror fiction
Subject:
Horror - General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
June 2008
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
928
Dimensions:
7.52x4.32x1.52 in. 1.03 lbs.

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The Historian Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 928 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316067942 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Considering the recent rush of door-stopping historical novels, first-timer Kostova is getting a big launch — fortunately, a lot here lives up to the hype. In 1972, a 16-year-old American living in Amsterdam finds a mysterious book in her diplomat father's library. The book is ancient, blank except for a sinister woodcut of a dragon and the word 'Drakulya,' but it's the letters tucked inside, dated 1930 and addressed to 'My dear and unfortunate successor,' that really pique her curiosity. Her widowed father, Paul, reluctantly provides pieces of a chilling story; it seems this ominous little book has a way of forcing itself on its owners, with terrifying results. Paul's former adviser at Oxford, Professor Rossi, became obsessed with researching Dracula and was convinced that he remained alive. When Rossi disappeared, Paul continued his quest with the help of another scholar, Helen, who had her own reasons for seeking the truth. As Paul relates these stories to his daughter, she secretly begins her own research. Kostova builds suspense by revealing the threads of her story as the narrator discovers them: what she's told, what she reads in old letters and, of course, what she discovers directly when the legendary threat of Dracula looms. Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too. Agent, Amy Williams. 325,000 first printing; major ad/promo; 10-city author tour. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The Historian isn't especially scary (though Kostova can work up a respectable miasma of dread when needed), and it lacks the inane but breathless chase scenes of The Da Vinci Code, but for the sophisticated reader it's a fine Bordeaux to Dan Brown's overcaffeinated Diet Coke....The big difference is that, unlike Brown's nattering cardboard people, by the end of Kostova's novel, the girl and the mother she lost as an infant have also become people worth caring about, tragic figures enmeshed with a treacherous past. That makes The Historian a thriller in more ways than one." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review" by , "Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment."
"Review" by , "Impossible to resist....Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil."
"Review" by , "A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature....This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascination with the legend of Dracula."
"Review" by , "Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine....It won't take you long to get to the end."
"Review" by , "Readers who think the legend of Dracula has become a trite staple of schlock fiction will find this atmospheric page-turner...a bloodthirsty delight....Both literary and scary, this one is guaranteed to keep one reading into the wee hours..."
"Review" by , "There's a really terrific vampire story buried somewhere in The Historian....There is indeed a rich payoff if you persist through the slow parts. But then again, this is a frigging vampire novel. There shouldn't be slow parts. (Grade: B)"
"Synopsis" by , Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, Kostova's phenomenal #1 bestseller tells the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark 15th-century reign of Vlad the Impaler. Available in a tall Premium Edition.
"Synopsis" by , Breathtakingly suspenseful and beautifully written, The Historian is the story of a young woman plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages. The search for the truth becomes an adventure of monumental proportions, taking us from monasteries and dusty libraries to the capitals of Eastern Europe - in a feat of storytelling so rich, so hypnotic, so exciting that it has enthralled readers around the world.

"Never was a ghost story so casually erudite, nor a historical travelogue such gripping entertainment." ---New York Magazine

"Impossible to resist. . . . Kostova blends fact and fantasy to remind us that the original Dracula legend is rooted in monstrous acts of unblinking evil." ---Miami Herald

"A richly told story about family and the dark side of human nature. . . . This cry of the heart will appeal to readers beyond those who are drawn by a fascaination with the legend of Dracula." ---Chicago Tribune

"Genuinely terrifying." ---Boston Globe

"Nearly impossible to put down once you crack the spine. . . . It won't take you long to get to the end." ---Houston Chronicle

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